One year ago today, I blindly took my first step on a journey to share my writing. I had no idea what was in store for me but I faithfully forged ahead, dedicating my first post to a true Red Circle Day in history. It also became the inspiration for the title of my first published book, Red Circle Days.
Throughout the past year, as each of one of you has made the conscious choice to join me on this journey, you have given me a gift. You have given me the gift of friendship, the gift of confidence, the gift of likes and comments, but the greatest gift of all has been one I never expected. You have given me the gift of being a part of something so much greater than I could ever be alone. Together, this community of writers, readers, thinkers and passionate people come together to make a difference great or small in this great big world of ours. Each written word, whether mine or yours, is read by someone whose life is touched in some way. For this, I thank you and hope to always contribute something of value to all those who choose to allow my thoughts, my words and my stories into their lives.
Originally posted: September 11, 2012
“Save the date, pencil me in, mark your calendar…all phrases we so often hear in our daily lives. We all live by our planners, calendars, appointment books, schedules, organizing every minute of our days, weeks, years. Like most of you, I love using the annual reminder feature on my online calendars so next year it automatically pops up on my screen. During the year and a half our family lived with an ocean between us, I purchased the kids a calendar where they could circle the dates of daddy’s visits with a red marker. We lived for those circles and the text that accompanied them, “Daddy’s home!” I can’t be the only who artfully vandalizes her calendars this way. Red circles always signify something important. I fill the calendar with red circles for birthdays, vacations, anniversaries and so many other dates so at a glance anyone would know those mean the world to me.
I can tell you exactly where I was, what I was wearing and what I was feeling on those red circle days. December 29, 1994 – St. Patrick’s Church, wearing my wedding gown, feeling incredibly blessed as I walked toward my best friend. June 7, 2002 – Park Plaza Hospital, Houston – wearing another gown but this one hospital issued, overwhelmed with tears of joy as I held my little girl for the first time. These are red circle days that don’t need highlighting because the automatic reminder pops up without a prompt, yet I still circle them. We all have these days.. red circle days. But what about the red circles only I can see? For some reason, I can’t seem to circle those, yet at a glance I can also tell you exactly where I was, what I was wearing, and what I was feeling. October 1, 1993 – my parents home, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, feeling like my whole world was crumbling around me. November 11, 2008 – Harlingen, TX – standing in our empty house wearing cutoff shorts and a tank top as I waved to the moving truck with tears in my eyes.
Today, a huge red circle day in our history should not need a reminder. September 11 doesn’t need to be marked on our calendar for us to remember the horrific events of that day. Lives were lost, fears were made real and history books were rewritten. It is a day like no other, requiring no automatic pop-up on our screen announcing its impending arrival. The closer it approaches, the more aware we become of it. We may not remember exactly where we were or exactly what we were wearing, but we will never forget what we were feeling. For those who lost loved ones that day, my prayers go out to you for peace and strength as you try to get through a difficult day in a world full of calendars with invisible red circles.”